Simon Byrne – Chief Executive Officer at Acetop Financial Limited
Established in 2016, Acetop Financial Ltd offer FX, CFD and Spread Betting services out of their office in the City of London. In November, Acetop’s Chief Executive Officer, Simon Byrne, was recognised by CEO Monthly Magazine as the CEO of the Year for 2018. On the back of this win, we spoke with Simon who offered insight into the firm’s operations, culture and approach to trading
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Acetop Financial have made an impressive mark on the investment landscape in just two years of market participation. Utilising the benefits of the digital age, with a decidedly modern approach to trading, they pride themselves on adopting a clientcentric outlook to their work, ensuring that the client remains at the very centre of their services. Naturally, this approach carries over to the firm’s investment platform which is defined, primarily, by an ease of access and extensive customer care support.
Ultimately, Acetop Financial aim to be recognised as the most trusted providers of Forex, CFD and Spread Betting services. By any metric, it’s a goal that they are well on their way to achieve. At the heart of Acetop’s considerable achievements is Simon Byrne, who has spearheaded the firm’s success since their arrival in the British market. To start the interview, Simon summarises his responsibilities as CEO as they navigate the incredibly competitive investment industry. “My role is to provide clear Simon Byrne, CEO: Helping to Redefine the Trading Industry irection on the business goals, strategies and culture within the firm; ensuring strong communication lines flow between each department and the Board. I also ensure that the business maintains strong customer relationships and that all aspects of the business meet the regulatory requirements within the industry.”
“My leadership style is very simplistic in nature. I like to be very involved in the day to day running of the business, constantly seeking to improve the operations and also increase my own knowledge of the industry. In the ever-changing world of technology and innovation; I feel that it is important to look objectively at these changes and how they can benefit Acetop. Management is extremely important, and at Acetop we allow the Heads of each department to take control of their area and to share their ideas and values. I am very strongly committed to promoting within the group and ensuring staff feel like a family, and not just a ‘9 to 5’ job.”
On this, Simon continues, detailing Acetop’s company culture and internal ethos. Above all else, Simon emphasises the belief that his staff are valued On this, Simon continues, detailing Acetop’s company culture and internal ethos. Above all else, Simon emphasises the belief that his staff are valued members of Acetop’s team. “All individuals are made to feel part individuals are made to feel part of one team pulling together. We do not number people here at Acetop. We are a family where good communication, hard work and trust are key throughout the company. All of our departments interact with each other, and we constantly encourage everyone to spend time within the other departments. It is important to learn and understand each part of the business, as well as spending time getting to know each other.”
“We encourage employees to share their ideas and allow them to run with these ideas, taking ownership of the projects. Communication of the business, its strategy and goals, with staff is key to any business success. Through tough times; our strength as a team will pick us back up. Teamwork is the solid stone that Acetop built its company on”
Despite Acetop’s success, Simon maintains that he still has a long way to go before he considered himself truly successful, with many challenges still to overcome. He strives constantly, exhaustively even, to improve the business, and the lives of the people he works with. “I am not sure whether or not I’ve succeeded as each day provides new challenges. I constantly aim to ensure the happiness for the people I work with, the stakeholders in the company, my clients and, of course, my family & friends. Not all decisions are perfect as we venture through life, but I like to think that I am constantly improving… or at least trying. I have always had the desire to develop new skills, gain knowledge and improve myself in all aspects of life. My long-term goal workwise is to be in the situation where we can offer high-level FX & CFD trading opportunities to the public via Acetop.”
With this thought very much in mind, Simon takes a moment to offer some advice to those who are looking to mirror his success in business. “I enjoy all aspects of looking for ways to better myself, both in my professional and personal life. I believe that to get where you want to be takes hard work, commitment and determination. Everyone has the ability to achieve their own goals in life no matter how big or small they may be.”
“Deep breaths are important during the struggles. Remain confident and steadfast in your beliefs and never give up. We all look for where the ‘grass is greener’ however, sometimes it is good to just sit back and take in what you have achieved to date and be proud.”
“To the entrepreneurs in us, find what you enjoy doing the most… or at least, what you are the best in the world at. Try to invent a formula, unique delivery method or anything that will help the world to improve people’s lives or offer a unique user experience. Brand it and protect yourself with a trade mark or patent. Invest the money you can afford to lose or find investors who think alike. Do not chase the success, chase the dream of changing the world.
Success will come.”Changing gears slightly, Simon talks about his career milestones, from Dublin graduate to CEO of Acetop. “From the very start and through my education, the financial industry always had me intrigued. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in the University College of Dublin, I started my professional career in the late 80s, working more than 17 years in the Irish Banking Industry. During this time, I worked in all areas of Treasury, watching as the market and technology changed the shape of the financial industry we see today.
From starting in the post room, I moved on to become Chief Dealer within a modest bank that later became one of the largest FX banks in Ireland. Having crossed the waters to the UK in 2006, I continued working for major global banks within Treasury until the banking collapse. It was at this time, I decided to move away from the mainstream banks into the CFD and hedge-fund arena.”
“Over the following number of years, I helped establish a number of companies from obtaining FCA licences to business growth. In late 2016, a wonderful opportunity arose to head up Acetop’s venture into the UK. The start-up began and to date we have over 20 employees working to achieve our ultimate goal.”
Finally, as the interview comes to a close, Simon discusses the future of Acetop Financial as they look to capitalise on the changing dynamic of the market. Changes are imminent, and though they may be challenging initially, Simon believes that they are pushing the industry in a better, more innovative, more secure direction. “The future is very positive and optimistic. In the short term, the future may seem challenging.
Changes to regulations protecting the client, data protection (GDPR) and Brexit are all having an impact on the forex industry currently. These changes will help to strengthen the industry, provide better protection to both the client and companies, ensuring a bright future ahead for all.”
“Lower leverage within the industry is there to protect the clients and reduce the risk of the company, which must be embraced.
Greater emphasis on educating clients wishing to enter this industry will also help to improve the image of the industry and allow a more level playing field. Further, the recent spending and improvements of Acetop’s technology should allow us to gain even greater efficiency – while minding the environment and consuming less energy- and provide our customers with reliable services at a lower cost. While positive changes are afoot at Acetop, we hope to launch many new innovations within the years ahead.”
In his closing comments, Simon summarises his approach to the year ahead. “Hopefully, through working with the excellent staff and management here at Acetop, I can improve my leadership style, increase my knowledge base and continue to enjoy the wonders that life has to offer.”
Contact: Sergey Tsvetkov, Digital Marketing Manager
Company: Acetop Financial Ltd
Address: 3 St Helen’s Place, London, EC3A 6AB, United Kingdom
Telephone: 44 (0) 207 382 1700